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Independent Attorney for James Crumbley, Jennifer Crumbley

James Crumbley and Jennifer Crumbley appear in court together on March 22, 2022. (Image via WZZM/YouTube screenengrab.)

James Crumbley and Jennifer Crumbley appear in court together on March 22, 2022. (Image via WZZM/YouTube screenengrab.)

A Michigan circuit court judge on Tuesday said she is appointing an independent attorney to oversee the legal interests of James Crumbley and Jennifer Crumbleythe parents of the alleged high school killer Ethan Crumbley.

Both father and mother are represented by Shannon Smith and Mariell Lehmanboth people practice law at the same law firm.

Parents have rudely pointed out in many lower courts the procedure they took waive any potential conflicts of interest which may arise from common representation. Attorneys Smith and Lehman said they believe they can handle the proceedings without conflict asking for private counsel.

Regardless of those fervent assertions, joint representation can be extremely difficult, Oakland County Judge Cheryl Matthews note while quoting some Michigan code of ethics.

One of such rules, Criminal Procedure Code 6.005Read part as follows:

(F) Many representatives. When two or more outraged defendants are charged with or committed a crime or their cases are otherwise related, the local outrage crime prevention system must appoint separate attorneys to practice law for each. accused. Whenever two or more defendants charged with or involved in a case are represented by the same retained attorney or attorneys related to the practice of law, the court must consider the possibility of create a conflict of interest that could jeopardize the right of each defendant to the indivisible loyalty of counsel. A court may not allow joint representation unless:

(1) the attorney or attorneys stated in the file reasons to believe that joint representation would in no way create a conflict of interest;

(2) the defendants state in the file after the court’s inquiry and the attorney’s statement, that they wish to continue with the same attorney; and

(3) the court finds in the record that general representation in all probabilities would not create a conflict of interest and state the reasons for the outcome.

The judge also quoted Michigan Code of Professional Conduct 3.7 and said she would not allow an attorney to testify on the matter if a conflict arose at any point in the proceedings.

“The court is appointing an independent counsel for each defendant,” Judge Matthews announced. “The appointment of an attorney shall not be a substitute for the choice of the defendant’s current attorney or for reporting back to this Court. The sole purpose of an independent counsel shall be for the limited purpose of advising each defendant in matters relating to general representation and the possibility of a conflict of interest. “

The judge said she wanted a written release from each defendant for future proceedings.

“I am concerned that at some point – today, tomorrow, next week, a month from now, four months from now – something could happen that causes conflict that could hurt harm your position, Mr. Crumbley, or your position. “Crumbley, and I have an obligation to defend your rights,” Judge Matthews said. “And I am concerned, as we sit here right now, there could be a multitude of incompatibilities. So I’m sending a designated, independent attorney. . . they will talk to you about conflicts of interest, potential conflicts of interest, and what would be in your best interest. So I urge you to listen to them and ask them any questions you may have.”

The judge told both defendants she wanted to “avoid your rights being affected in a negative way” and “avoid having to reproduce or roll back” in the case proceedings. She noted that a conflict, if it arose during testing, could lead to a confusion.

Although she didn’t say it directly, the judge expressed concern that one parent might object to the other or try to adopt a defense strategy that might try to put the blame more bluntly. with the other at some point during the proceedings – a tactic that sometimes occurs between defendants in criminal matters. Attorneys of the same firm cannot accept morally disadvantageous positions if they are related. This basic code of ethics is why most criminal defendants, even when charged with the same crime, have different attorneys from different firms.

The defense said they wanted to give the record (for example, private to their client) the exact language of the waiver before proceeding with it.

James and Jennifer Crumbley are count with four counts each belong to involuntary manslaughter.

Their 15-year-old son Ethan Crumbley is charge with four counts of first-degree premeditated murder, seven counts of assault and 12 counts of using a weapon in connection with a fatal assault. Hana St. Juliana14, Tate Myre16, Madisyn Baldwin17 and Justin Shilling, 17 years old, died. Ethan Crumbley is also charge with terrorism.

The brief Thursday procedure ends in about ten minutes.

See the full process below:

[image via YouTube screengrab/WZZM-TV]

Is there a trick we should know? [email protected]

https://lawandcrime.com/live-trials/live-trials-current/ethan-crumbley/judge-appoints-independent-attorneys-for-parents-of-accused-high-school-shooter-cites-possibility-of-incompatible-defenses/ Independent Attorney for James Crumbley, Jennifer Crumbley

James Brien

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